Before Super Bowl 50 even ended Cam Newton was taking criticism he didn’t deserve. On the CBS broadcast, play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, a former quarterback who left the pocket hesitantly if ever, questioned whether Newton showed enough effort diving for a fumble late in Carolina’s 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Putting too much credence in what Simms said might go too far. But: this was the national broadcast, reaching hundreds of millions and here was Cam Newton, the most physically daring and brave quarterback in the league, facing criticism that would never be lobbed anywhere near Peyton Manning, who likely walked off into the sunset with an extra tick of validation because he happened to play on a team with a dominant defense that happened to play a team that under-performed for the second time in a 19-game season.

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